April 8, 2005
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia Cavaliers (21-9, 5-6 ACC) recorded a 2-0 shutout victory over the N.C. State Wolfpack (22-10, 5-8 ACC) in the opening contest of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series at Davenport Field at the UVa Baseball Stadium. Virginia starting pitcher Matt Avery helped secure the victory on the mound with eight shutout innings and struck out a game-high seven batters as he and the Cavalier pitching staff allowed just two hits the entire game. UVa's Matt Street turned in a strong offensive performance with two of the Cavaliers' four hits and scored the game-winning run, while Casey Lambert tied the school-record for saves at Virginia (a record he set himself last season) with his eighth saves of the year.
"Anytime you can win an ACC game on a Friday night it is a big win," said UVa head baseball coach Brian O'Connor. "This is an especially big win for our ball club. Matt Avery pitched the best game he's thrown all year. It was great to see him come out and command the game. He pitched deep into the game to save the bullpen for the rest of the weekend."
In the top of the first inning, N.C. State threatened to take an early lead in the top of the first inning by loading the bases, but the Wolfpack was unable to scored a run and the Cavaliers eventually would take advantage of it.
After five and a half innings of scoreless play, Virginia recorded the first and only two runs of the ballgame in the bottom of the sixth inning and took a 2-0 lead. Street led off the inning with the first Cavalier hit of the ballgame, a single to left field. He advanced to second on Ryan Zimmerman's ground ball fielder's choice and then took third base on Sean Doolittle's fly ball to right field. In UVa's next at-bat, Brandon Guyer drove in Street with an infield single to the left side. Guyer then proceeded to steal second base and later scored on an RBI-double to right-center field by Scott Headd to give the Cavaliers a 2-0 advantage. That would prove to be all the scoring Virginia would need as it relied on its pitching for the remainder of the game.
"Offensively, in the first half of the game, we struck a lot of balls hard. Unfortunately the wind was blowing in, and they were right at guys," said O'Connor. "I was proud of our team and how they stayed the course. They took advantage of the opportunity in the sixth and that was the ballgame."
UVa's Avery (4-2) picked up the win after going 8.0 innings and allowed no runs on two hits and struck out seven batters. The Cavaliers' Lambert tossed a scoreless inning to close out the game to post his eighth saves of the season. Lambert now has 16 career saves in just two seasons, which is second all-time at Virginia for most saves in a career at UVa.
N.C. State starting pitcher Jeff Stallings (4-3) took the loss despite a solid outing himself. Stallings allowed just one run on one hit and struck out one batter in 5.2 innings of work.
With the victory, Virginia's record improves to 21-9 overall, 5-6 in the ACC. The loss drops N.C. State's record to 22-10 overall, 5-8 in the conference. The Cavaliers take a one game to none lead in the three-game series with the Wolfpack.
Virginia and N.C. State will return to action on Saturday, April 9th when the Cavaliers and Wolfpack play the second contest of the three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 PM at Davenport Field at the UVa Baseball Stadium .
-- UVa --
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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